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Former Zambian president pleads innocent

March 26, 2013 at 8:32 AM

LUSAKA, Zambia, March 26 (UPI) -- Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges he abused his authority while in office, officials said.

Banda, 76, allegedly made a deal with the Nigerian government for oil contracts to benefit him and his family while he was president from 2008-11, Zambia Reports said.

Prosecutors allege Banda instructed his son, Henry Chikomeni Banda, to determine the destination of the deal's profits, none of which made it to the Zambian government.

Banda said Tuesday he is confident the court will find him innocent.

"Yes, of course I have confidence in the judiciary, that is why I came. When this case started, I was not in the country but I came so that I could go through this process," he said.

The case has been adjourned until April 3.

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